Today is my Feast Day. My Dad is Catholic, so when it's convenient I get to feel proud of magical things like Patron (or Matron) Saints, and Stained Glass windows, and Leprechauns. (Let's not even get started on the combination of Catholic-Jewish guilt that lurks deeply in my Irish-Russian genes.)
I like celebrating St. Brigid's Day, though, because it's not really Catholic at all. It's very pagan, as I guess most things are. But it's not a dance-around-the-fire-and-do-it-with-boys-wearing-antlers kind of holiday. Instead, it's called Imbolc, and it means: SPRING!!
Someone very kindly posted a link on my Facebook page this morning, a link that offers one of the best explanations of Imbolc I've ever read.
In addition to explaining that the Feast of St. Brigid represents the onset of warmer and lighter days, this site declares Brigid the patron (matron) saint of: babies; blacksmiths; boatmen; cattle farmers; children whose parents are not married; children whose mothers are mistreated by the children's fathers; Clan Douglas; dairymaids; dairy workers; fugitives; infants; Ireland; Leinster, mariners; midwives; milk maids; nuns; poets; poor; poultry farmers; poultry raisers; printing presses; sailors; scholars; travelers; watermen.
I like how "Ireland" is just thrown in there -- no big deal.
Sorry, I had a whole blog about whisky/whiskey planned for today, but sometimes you gotta be spontaneous. It's my feast day, and it's my blog. So there. But don't worry ... I'll be watching out for all you dairymaids and watermen and illegitimate folk. And all of Ireland, of course. And here I haven't even finished celebrating my half-birthday/Burns Night. So much celebrating to catch up on before St. David's Day on March 1!